Women’s fashion retailer Bardot will shut the vast majority of its stores over the next two months, with 530 workers to lose their jobs.
- Bardot will close 58 stores, leaving just 14 remaining in NSW and Victoria
- It is unclear how many of Bardot’s 800 staff will lose their jobs
- The administrators are hoping to sell what is left of the fashion chain, which has seen online sales grow
Bardot will drastically shrink its store network by shutting 58 stores. Only 14 stores will remain open, confined to New South Wales and Victoria.
Fifty-six stores are scheduled to close by March. Two stores — in Hobart and Knox, Victoria — already shut in early December.
The fashion chain entered administration in November, one of a slew of retailers to do so last year as conditions in the sector deteriorated.
Bardot had 72 stores across all states and territories and employed around 800 staff at the time it fell into administration.
Administrators from KPMG said they are still pursuing the sale of the remaining business and that the store closures were “a very difficult decision”.
“Subject to ongoing trading performance and discussions with landlords, it is not our intention to close further stores at this point in time,” said KPMG restructuring services partner Brendan Richards.
“I would like to thank Bardot staff for their hard work and efforts during this process.”
Administrators have now confirmed that 530 workers would lose their jobs as a result of the store closures.
In November, Bardot’s chief executive Basil Artemides blamed a competitive retail environment for its financial woes.
“Despite double-digit growth in online sales … Bardot’s retail stores in Australia are competing in a highly cluttered, and increasingly discount-driven market,” he said.
Retail downturn hits long list of companies
The announcement of the Bardot store closures follows news earlier this week that department store Harris Scarfe will close 21 stores, after entering receivership in December.
Bardot and Harris Scarfe join a long and growing list of high-profile Australian retailers that have collapse in the past few years.
Earlier this week, Harris Scarfe’s administrator said the department store would cut 440 jobs.
In 2019, the local arm of womenswear brand Karen Millen entered administration, as did footwear chain Ziera and menswear retailer Ed Harry.
Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics also called in the administrators but was rescued from collapse mid-year.
In 2018, Laura Ashley and Roger David were among the retailers to go under.
Consumer spending growth in Australia fell to its lowest level since the global financial crisis in the September quarter, with the Reserve Bank’s interest rate cuts and the Federal Government’s tax cuts failing to translate into increased discretionary spending.
Some early indicators have suggested the devastating bushfire season may put a further dampener on consumer confidence and deliver a hit to economic growth in the short-term.